Crucial contest between rivals

REMEMBER THIS?: Cobden’s Peter Richardson celebrates the 2009-10 premiership. Club hopes of defending the flag go on the line tomorrow.

It’s a predicament neither Cobden nor Simpson imagined at season’s start.

That with five rounds remaining, each would be a rank outsider for finals hunting a team promoted from Division Two.

As the race to the Corangamite Bowls Association Division One finals heats up,

it’s a reality both clubs are facing.

And it’s a reality that has heightened the importance of tomorrow’s Cobden-Simpson match at Cobden.

Cobden is sixth, 40 points out of finals and with only two top-four teams to play in the last five rounds.

Simpson, meanwhile, is fifth, 25 points out of finals but with the four teams holding the finals spots awaiting in the final four rounds.

The situation both sides found themselves in at the Christmas break means

tomorrow’s contest is less about winning and more about not losing.

Victory would do little other than keep finals hopes alive.

Defeat, however, would all but prematurely end season campaigns.

For all the motivating words each side has for its players, there is the knowledge their opponents are saying similar things.

Speaking to The Colac Herald this week, Cobden skipper Damian Riches and his Simpson counterpart Paul Newcombe raised similar themes – the need to maintain promising pre-Christmas form or kiss goodbye a season full of hope.

“We’ve got to win this weekend. It’s pretty much all over if we don’t win,” Riches said.

Newcombe, who paired with Cobden’s Peter Inglis for a Warrnambool competition this week proving friendships can span bowling clubs, was similarly urgent.

“She can set up our campaign for finals if we win, it’s a must win,” he said

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